Facade Tectonics SKINS

SKINS: December 2022

Looking Back at the 2022 World Congress

The 2022 World Congress was special in many ways, but first on everyone’s list was the opportunity to be together on October 12 and 13 in Los Angeles. Our previous World Congress in 2020 was held online due to the global pandemic. For the 2022 World Congress, we wanted to give our members and attendees an opportunity to meet in person, attend inspirational keynotes and peer-reviewed paper presentations, participate in special sessions, network, and meet new and old friends.

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Rethinking Building Skins


Rethinking Building Skins

Authors and educators Eugenia Gasparri, Arianna Brambilla, Gabriele Lobaccaro, Francesco Goia, Annalisa Andaloro, and Alberto Sangiorgio address the major challenges and opportunities ahead for the construction (and façade) sector, with a focus on product and process innovations.

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facade resilience evaluation framework


Façade Resilience Evaluation Framework

This paper discusses façade resilience and presents a novel qualitative evaluation framework that assesses potential risks associated with façade design and suggests way of reducing such design risk in a climate change scenario. Authors Fabio Favoino, Adèle Chalumeau, and Audrey Aquaronne co-authored this 2022 World Congress paper by creating a framework around climate resilience.

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Toward Net Zero Enclosures

Net-zero carbon

Toward Net Zero Enclosures

Gensler architects Jessica Santonastaso and Alan Estabrook survey existing research on embodied carbon in exterior wall assemblies and the availability of product declarations for relevant materials. Frameworks for evaluating embodied carbon in building structure will be reviewed as examples for understanding the complexities of the varied and often customized world of high-performance exterior walls.

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thermal bridging and building facades


Thermal Bridging and Building Facades

Ivan Lee, a Building Science Consultant at Morrison Hershfield, recognizes the importance of mitigating thermal bridging to meet low energy targets for buildings. He points out that many jurisdictions are starting to incorporate thermal bridging into their codes and standards, and both ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC will likely include thermal bridging requirements in their next update cycles. It is time for designers to pay more attention to thermal bridging in façade design.

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printed facades


Printed Facades? Cases of Additive Manufacturing in the Building Envelope

This paper, written by a team at the Technical University at Darmstadt, uses examples of 3D printed structural glass, reinforced thin-sheet façade panels, and nesting bricks that can be integrated directly into facades to support work successful industrial applications of additive manufacturing in the building sector.

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Reconfigurable Terracotta Facade


Reconfigurable Terracotta Facades

This study, completed by an interdisciplinary team from the University of Buffalo and Alfred University explores a thermal mass application using terracotta blocks that can be reconfigured for different seasons. A self-supporting shading structure outside of a glazed enclosure during the summer can be reconfigured into a thermal mass inside of the enclosure during the colder months.

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Kinetic Solar Envelope


Kinetic Solar Envelope Design

Authors Christina Koukelli, Arup, Alejandro Prieto, Diego Portales University, and Serdar Asut, TU Delft, address the potentials of Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) for the design of autoreactive facade systems without using additional energy. The exploration is conducted and assessed through the design of a façade system for the city of Athens that improves the indoor environment and reduces the negative impact towards the outdoor environment.

More Details Here.

Form Follows Well-being


Form Follows Well-Being: An Approach to Human Centric Facade Design

Professor Timo Schmidt and Research Assistant David Bjelland of the University of Applied Sciences, Augsburg, propose a human centric planning guide for façade design that provides a tool to optimize façade components to match enhanced occupant well-being and health.

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Previously Featured


Biobuildings: Can we Grow our Buildings and Facade Systems?

John Cumbers explores living structures that absorb greenhouse gasses instead of emitting them, that can self-assemble and self-repair, and that are durable and adaptive, among other numerous cited benefits. Pie-in-the-sky? Maybe not. - in Forbes; image efired - stock.adobe.com

Rean On.


Plant-based Architecture and Living Facades: The Intersection of Biology and the Building Skin

A question for architects and the building industry: Can our cities be part of the solution to the challenges facing humanity, or are they intrinsically and inevitably a big part of the problem? To move beyond the latter demands nothing less than a radical shift in the way we think about buildings. Let’s pull on this thread for a minute.

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Biofacades: Integrating Biological Systems with Building Enclosures

Writing for SKINS, authors Mary Ben Bonham and Kyoung Hee Kim expound on biofacades. This original article introduces performance benefits, challenges, and taxonomies for different forms of building-nature integration, and explores leading edge research and practice.

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Living Architecture: Microbes and Urban Sustainability

Rachel Armstrong, a professor of experimental architecture at Newcastle University, gives a TED talk at Future Tech Week. She posits that contemporary building practices are severely outdated and inefficient, and here explores the potential of living architecture.

View Presentation.


Rethinking Building Skins

RBS captures the insights of over 50 global innovators from industry and academia authoring chapters addressing the current and future challenges of facade design and delivery. This important book will appeal to all even remotely involved in the facade industry.

Check It Out.


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Organizational Members of the Facade Tectonics Institute


Kuraray, Schüco USA


Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Permasteelisa Group, seele, TriPyramid Structures


Dow, Finishing Contractors Association, Lerch Bates, Technoform North America, Valmont Structures, Vitro Architectural Glass, WRNS Studio, W&W Glass


Antamex Industries, Heintges, Kreysler & Associates, MdeAS Architects, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Roschmann Steel & Glass Constructions, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, SOCOTEC, Inc., The Architect's Newspaper, The Miller Hull Partnership, The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York

Academics / Nonprofits

Aarhus University, Denmark, IIBEC, National Fenestration Rating Council, Rainscreen Association in North America, Universidad de Concepción, University of Utah, Western Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association